San Diego MLS team to help youth soccer in region massively with Right to Dream

San Diego MLS

Credit: Francisco Velasco/EVT Sports

MLS San Diego
Credit: MLS

This Thursday, May 18, San Diego was officially announced as the 30th franchise in Major League Soccer. Along with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and team ownership representatives Tom Vernon of Right to Dream was present at the event.

Tom Vernon and Right to Dream will be working directly with the San Diego team to help build its team for the inaugural 2025 season and much beyond that. Right, to Dream is a football academy that scouts for soccer players around the globe and helps them achieve their goals of playing professionally.

The organization started in Ghana, Africa, in 1999, when Vernon and his wife Helen helped some local players get a chance to develop their skills. Right, to Dream grew massively in the coming years and, in 2016, made history by buying Danish team Nordsjaelland. Nordsjaelland is not a team with historical success and is currently second place in the Danish Superliga, just a point back of first-place Copenhagen.

Right, to Dream has played a massive role in the Danish team’s success, as the organization has helped discover several of the players. FC Nordjaelland is the youngest first division team in the world, with an average age of just 22 years and six months on the squad.

In 2021, Right to Dream teamed up with the Mansour Group, and the pair have been working since then in Denmark and with other soccer clubs worldwide. Mohamed Mansour and all of the ownership group seem very confident in Right to Dream to help San Diego find success. Mansour talked about the process of starting the team with Right to Dream and how the academy will help.

“We’re starting this process. When we started talking a few months back, we were looking at it. Don’t forget we have a team in Denmark; we have Right to Dream, which is an academy that brings players that has had 140 professional players around the world today, also 120 educators that have gone to different universities. We have the pipeline; it’s there, we know how to get it, and this is how we work, but we want to do it locally. Get Local people. From around the area and local players, and we’re going to start scouting”, Mansour said.

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Manny Machado also talked enthusiastically about the Right to Dream academy. Machado said, “This is one of the biggest cities where kids play soccer. I believe that the Right to Dream foundation will support a lot of soccer players. We will not only help kids playing sports but with their school as well.”

American soccer has been criticized in the past for its “pay to play” structure and not enough avenues for players who do not come from a family that can support them. Right, to Dream will certainly make its best effort to change that, at least in the San Diego region, with the team’s plan in place.

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